Thursday, April 27, 2006
Actually, am I totally hopeless as a pundit? How'm I doing on my predictions from the beginning of the year?
1. McCain to dramatically mend fences with the Christian Right, fence mending to be reciprocated. Giuliani not to run for President. Tancredo to threaten a third-party candidacy if McCain is the nominee. I'm going to claim victory for the first part given McCain's upcoming speech at Falwell U., and we'll see how the reciprocation goes. I'm standing by my Giuliani and Tancredo predictions.
2. Kadima, led by Sharon, to win a resounding victory, but to still have trouble building a coalition. Well, Sharon is permanently incapacitated, Kadima won a less-than-resounding victory, and for all my post-election pessimism, Olmert seems to have put together a workable coalition. What do I know.
3. Canada votes for Harper, Italy for Prodi. Both right!
4. Mubarak to be hospitalized, triggering panic in capitals the world over until he recovers, which he does. Still time for this one.
5. Lopez Obrador to win in Mexico, with negative but not catastrophic consequences for the U.S. Polls are moving the other way, actually, but I stand by this one.
6. Oscar predictions more wrong than right.
7. No nuke test by either North Korea or Iran, nor any war with either, nor regime change in either country. I stand by this one.
8. Major terrorist incident in Russia followed by the completion of the reestablishment of autocracy in that country. Russia's been kind of out of the news lately. Still seems pretty likely to me, though.
9. Strong year for stocks led by tech. Dollar weakens, housing market softens. Inflation rises but no panic. These are all looking good from where I sit.
10. Delay will lose his House seat - correct! Santorum will lose his Senate seat - still betting that way. Ford will win a Senate seat in Tennessee - less likely, but I'll stand by it. GOP to hold both houses - I would not bet that way at this point.
11. Rumsfeld to resign. I must have been smoking something. John Snow to resign. Of course.
12. No meaningful troop reductions in Iraq. Standing by this one, of course. No spectacularly good or bad news to force a change in direction. Standing by this one as well.
13. GM to fire its CEO. Bankruptcy anticipated in 2007. A Chinese company to bid to buy GM's brands after bankruptcy. Looking a lot less likely now.
14. John Derbyshire to read and like a Philip Pullman novel. Hasn't happened yet to my knowledge, but maybe he's just afraid to tell Katherine.
15. Al Gore to begin preparations to run for President. Hasn't happened yet and probably won't.
16. I drink Gobi desert wine. Not gonna happen, I fear.
17. Serious crisis in the Philippines. Gosh, I hope not.
18. One of the following countries to hold a referendum on whether to split up into multiple states: Belgium, Canada, Italy, Bosnia, Iraq, Spain. Mind you, I don't predict whether the referendum passes. Too soon, I'd say, but Quebec will have another vote one of these years, and that would count if it happened in 2006.
19. German Party of Democratic Socialism to take a sharp turn to the right, and do well at the polls in consequence. I was pretty roundly mocked for this prediction. Still makes sense to me, though.
20. Japan's economic recovery to accelerate. Pretty clearly happening. Pro-natal policies to bear fruit. No evidence of this yet. Increasing nationalism and talk about changing the constitution - bits and pieces of evidence of this yet, but not yet a big news story. I stand by this one.
21. Alito to be confirmed with between 65 and 75 votes. Confirmed, yes, but not with that many votes. Other predictions for 2006 - no new retirements or deaths and no overturning of Roe - remain to be seen.
22. Spitzer to be elected Governor of New York, Westly Governor of California, Strickland Governor of Ohio. I stand by all of these. Everyone is focused on Democrats trying to take control of the House and Senate. This is the big news of 2006: after the election, a significant majority of Americans, from sea to shining sea, will be living under Democratic Governors. Dems are certain to take New York, likely to take Massachusetts, Ohio, Arkansas, could well take California, Colorado, Maryland, and could just possibly take Florida. I cannot think of a single state in the Union where a Democrat currently governs and the GOP is likely to take the state away in 2006. It's possible the GOP could pick of Pennsylvania, but I wouldn't bet that way. The Democratic bench could be looking really, really strong in a few years, and the GOP bench really regional and really weak.
23. Carbs good again; caffeine bad. I stand by this one.
24. Ratner gets what he wants, Silverstein doesn't. Don't understand the WTC deal just agreed to well enough to know whether to claim partial victory.
25. I write a book. Not yet.